The Jammu Kashmir late Saturday afternoon issued a statement into the Pulwama encounter and the following civilian killings.
In the interest of our readers, the police statement is reproduced verbatim:
“A search operation was launched jointly by the security forces based on a credible input about the presence of militants in Monghama area of village Sirnoo in District Pulwama today morning.
During the search operation, which was an open field with hideout made by the militants, hiding militants fired indiscriminately leading to an encounter.
Consequently Army personnel got injured and one Army jawan succumbed to his injury while others are being treated at a hospital.
While the operation was going on, a crowd who came dangerously close from different parts to the encounter site got injured, The injured were evacuated to hospital where unfortunately seven persons succumbed to their injuries.
Others who were admitted in the hospital are stated to be stable.
The loss of civilians is deeply grieved. Police once again appeals the citizens to remain away from encounter site as it is a prohibited zone which involves significant danger to life because of nature of the encounter.
In this encounter three Militants were killed. Bodies were handed over to the legal heirs after completion of medico-legal formalities.
One of the killed militants has been identified as Zahoor Ahmad Thoker son of Abdul Majid Thoker resident of Sirnoo Pulwama. Pertinently, Zahoor had deserted from Army last year and joined HM militant outfit. He was a known militant commander and was wanted by law for his complicity in a series of militant crimes including attacks on security establishments and civilian atrocities. Several militant cases were registered against him including the killing of policemen Aqib Ahmad Wagay of Puchal Pulwama.
Police has registered a case in the matter. Incriminating materials including arms and ammunition recovered from the site of encounter have been taken in case records for further investigation and probe their complicity in other militancy cases.”